First of all I would like to wish all our Irish readers (assuming that there are a few) a very Happy St Patrick’s Day. Of course, with a surname like McCarthy I should be celebrating myself, but I have to admit that my Irish roots go back very many generations, probably originating in or around Cork, where every second person shares that name.
I was actually planning to write something witty and interesting about the history of St Patrick, but then, thinking about it, I decided to take a slightly different approach, using patriotism as my theme for the day……
The reason for this is quite simple, and in a way relates to my own personal situation here in Spain. St Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated around the world, and probably no more so than in the United States (with the exception of Ireland of course). Naturally this can be attributed to the large Irish communities – direct descendants of original Irish immigrant families. Indeed, the cities of New York and Chicago are made up of such a patchwork of various cultural communities that the different districts now form an integral part of the city maps (as they do all over the U.S.)
Now, I do not pretend to understand why, but there is something about being an ex-pat, living in a foreign country, that has a very strange effect on your mentality. Yes, when I lived in England I supported the national football team in the World Cup, and was happy when the country did well in some event or competition – but now? Well, I have to say that I am more fiercely patriotic than ever before. OK, I have not quite resorted to wearing Union Jack shorts on the beach, or having a tatoo of the Queen on my breast, but I am never slow in telling people that I am English, and proud of it. The only thing that I can’t really figure out is the reason why I should suddenly feel more passionate about my origins. Answers on a postcard please!
Anyway, just to finish, here’s todays St Patrick’s Google doodle…..